In the northern part of the ship, close to the stage, you will
find Stefan "Payne" and his friends below a German flag. They have
travelled from Mannheim, Germany, and they are very specific as to
At computer parties in Germany, it is common to draw a line between
"computer" and "party". According to Stefan, there are two kinds of
parties, "LANs" and "Lanparties". But at a Lanparty, computers play a
very tiny role, just as the LANs tend to miss the party feeling.
- I'd think the speakers would be about this big, the 29 year old
says, and holds his hand 20 cm over the ground.
- But when we come here, things get many times bigger, and people think it's ok!
He thinks the relaxed atmosphere at the gathering is fantastic, and he
feels this is something both the participants and the crew are
contributing to. Back home in Germany, many parties have own areas for
participants that are not old enough to play first-person shooters.
- The Gathering is completely different from that. There are so many
things to do, I don't even think people will be too disappointed if
there are issues with the network.
Mark "Mr. Muller", who came here with Stefan, tells us that people are
way more patient than what they are used to. He demonstrates how a
secutiry guard would treat a person sleeping the wrong area at his
parties - it is sufficient to say that it is quite far from how we do
it at The Gathering.
The group of four cane to Oslo by plane, and travelled to Hamar by
train. He explains that a important reason for why he came is a good
relationship with both Austrians and Englishmen, who are also
According to Mark, it's the participants that make The Gathering as
good as it is.
- It's all about the social atmosphere as long as you're in the
Vikingship. I've gotten to know many people here, and it's suprising
how many he have met who are interested in things that are not at all
related to computers, he says in reference to the lecture about
chemistry held by the University in Oslo.
A special story
2006 was Stefans first year at The Gathering. The subsequent year is
the one he thinks was most special, though; The airline managed to
leave his luggage at the airport in Germany.
- Everything I had was my hand luggage. My sleeping bag, clothes and
food were left behind.
In spite of this, he went to the Vikingship, where he was able to
borrow everything he needed.
- I felt like one of The Gatherings poor children. I was completely
dependent on everyone's help, but it all worked out, partly thanks to
John Morten ("the voice from the roof") from the Crew who helped me
deal with my airline.
He has attended every Gathering since, and he thinks it gets better
every time. He does not have a problem with being a foreigner at a
party where most people are Norwegians.
- The only place I wish more people would speak English is the
auditorium, there's a load of interesting stuff going on there, but I
really don't understand much.
Translation: Marcus Irgens